The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the National Housing Authority (NHA) are the biggest losers in the proposed P2.268 trillion budget for 2014, losing at least P10 billion each compared with their 2013 budget.
The Budget Comparison Tables provided by the Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department showed that the BIR, the agency tasked to taxed to go after tax evaders and ensure that the citizens are paying the right income taxes, suffered the biggest budget cut at P11.77 billion or 60.4 percent decrease compared with its 2013 share.
As such, the BIR led by Commissioner Kim Henares would only have to make do with its P7.7 billion in 2014 from having P19.4 billion in 2013.
BIR’s budget for Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) was the most affected of the budget cut, settling for P3.16 billion in 2014 from P14.5 billion in 2013 (78.2 percent decrease).
The BIR’s Capital Outlay, for its part, was decimated by almost a half at P538 million for 2014 from P1 billion this year.
The BIR, however, still has a silver lining to look forward to since its Personnel Services budget was only slightly reduced to P3.8 billion in 2014 from P3.9 billion in 2013.
BIR Commissioner Henares earlier announced that the BIR is already investigating businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles who is being accused of benefiting from the P10 billion Priority Development Assistance Fund over the last decade thru her bogus nongovernment organizations (NGOs).
Joining the BIR in the biggest loser circle is the NHA which only has P10.95 billion budget to show for 2014 or P10.42 billion lesser than its P21.37 billion 2013 budget.
The whole of NHA’s P10.95 billion allocation is for its MOOE since the Aquino administration allocated zero budget for its Personnel Services and Capital Outlay. Further, the NHA’s budget was sourced from the Special Purpose Fund.
Rounding up the top 10 government agencies or items which took the largest budget cuts in 2014 are: Bureau of Customs (lost P6.76 billion), Commission on Elections (P5.53 billion), National Mapping and Resource Information (P1.95 billion), Net Lending (P1.55 billion), Department of Agrarian Reform-Office of the Secretary (P1.05 billion), Agricultural Credit Policy Council (P97 million), Department of Tourism-Office of the Secretary (P73 million) and the National Statistics Office (P68 million).
The Customs Bureau got a wind of its ill fate in the budget when President Benigno Aquino 3rd lashed at its failure to curb smuggling of drugs and guns as well as meet tax collection targets during the Chief Executive’s State of the Nation Address last July 22.